September 26, 2017
Fresh white turnips

Types of Turnips and Rutabagas

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

Turnips come in an astonishing range of shapes and sizes, depending on the age and variety.

The most common varieties are round or shaped like a top, and have a creamy-white skin that shades to purple or reddish-pink or green at the top.

Rutabagas are considerably larger than most turnips. Their skin is tan, with a dark purple band at the crown, and they have an irregular shape. They have firm yellow flesh, and a strong, sweet flavor.

You may be able to find turnips or rutabagas by one of the varietal names listed here at a farmers’ market, but supermarkets usually label these root vegetables simply as “turnips” and “rutabagas.”

Types of turnips

  • Amber globe: Unlike typical top-shaped turnips, this type of turnip is round and has yellow skin. It has sweet, pale yellow flesh.
  • Baby bunch turnips: These small marble-sized turnips are white with firm white flesh. Their flavor is like a combination of apple and radish.
  • Golden ball (orange jelly): This variety has sweet, bright-orange flesh and is occasionally available at farmers’ markets.
  • Purple top: This is the most common turnip available and the one that most people are used to seeing in the supermarket. Purple top turnips have white skin and a bright purple crown and mild white flesh.
  • White globe: These round turnips are completely white, without the typical purple top of other turnips. The flesh is sweet and mild.

Types of rutabagas

  • American purple top rutabaga: This is the most common rutabaga. It is, as its name suggests, purple at the crown and yellow below.
  • Ruta-Bits rutabaga: This small variety of rutabaga comes to the market un-waxed. They are thin-skinned and don’t need to be peeled.